Everything We Know on Fruit Recall

An outbreak of listeria that has already turned fatal in one case has been linked to several varieties of fruits produced by the same company.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday announced a recall of several fruits sold by HMC Farms and confirmed an ongoing investigation after the produce was linked to an outbreak of listeria. A bacteria often found in contaminated foods, listeria can lead to an infection known as listeriosis, which is found in around 1,600 patients and claims 260 lives each year, with pregnant individuals, people over 65, and those with compromised immune systems being particularly at risk.

The affected fruits include peaches, plums, and nectarines, sold in two-pound bags branded with either “HMC Farms” or “Signature Farms,” and sold in stores across the country from May 1 through November 15 in both 2022 and this year. Fruits sold individually have also been impacted by the outbreak, and have included the following varieties with stickers containing “USA-E-U” and the following numbers: yellow peaches with 4044 and 4038, white peaches with 4401, yellow nectarines with 4036 and 4378, white nectarines with 3035, red plums with 402, and black plums with 4040.

All affected produce was conventional and not organic. Investigators are working to determine if more products have been impacted by this outbreak.

According to CDC data, the outbreak has been confirmed in at least seven states so far: California, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Colorado, and Kansas. Of the 11 illnesses linked to the outbreak, 10 have resulted in hospitalizations and one has resulted in a death.

Customers concerned that they may have some of the contaminated produce are encouraged to check the stickers on their fruits and either dispose of them immediately or return them to the store they were bought from. Under no circumstances should they be eaten. The fridge, container, or surface that held the fruit should also be cleaned.

Listeria or listeriosis symptoms

Individuals in possession of the recalled fruit should also reach out to healthcare providers immediately with any concerns, with symptoms typically resembling the flu.

For pregnant patients, listeriosis symptoms mainly include fever, muscle aches, and tiredness. In severe cases, it may also lead to miscarriages or stillbirths.

Non-pregnant patients may experience those same symptoms, as well as headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or seizures. Symptoms can manifest as early as the same day as exposure or as late as 10 weeks after but typically begin appearing after roughly two weeks.

Newsweek reached out to HMC Farms via email for comment.

Above, a representational image of peaches. A listeria outbreak has led to a recall of fruits sold nationwide by HMC Farms.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images